The letter comes amid reports that U.S. forces are helping Jordanians train rebels who could eventually create a safe zone along the border in southern Syria. In addition, a United Nations expert is poised to enter Syria to investigate claims of chemical weapons use, which Obama has called a “red line” that would spark a U.S. response.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Defense chief Leon Panetta previously recommended the United States arm the rebels. Obama has ruled against that so far out of concern that the weapons could end up in the hands of Islamist militants who could use them against U.S. interests.
Corker said he considered the administration's legal justifications for action in Libya two years ago to be “tenuous at best.” He has also expressed frustration with Secretary of State John Kerry's recent announcement of $60 million in direct aid to the rebels, telling The Hill that he was “a little disappointed that no heads up was given.”
Corker cautioned the administration that its actions in Syria should be dictated by national security interests.